The primary objective of this present investigation was to induce embryogenesis from leaf explants of in vitro grown shoots of Swertia chirata, a multipotent indigenous medicinal herb. Somatic embryogenesis is an important system of micropropagation has not been reported earlier in any species of Swertia. Aseptically grown leaf segments of nearly 1 cm in length were placed in B5 medium with different concentration and combination of growth regulators. Eighty percent leaf explants within 6 weeks of culture produced nodular, creemish yellow calli on B5 medium supplemented with 4.5 μM 2, 4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxy acetic acid) and 2.3 μM Kn (Kinetin). The highest frequency of embryogenesis (40%) with maximum number of globular somatic embryos (35.6±4.3) was recorded in the combination of 0.4 μM 2,4-D and 4.6 μM Kn per g of embryogenic calli. Addition of adenine sulfate (100 μM) helped in maturation of somatic embryos. Complete somatic embryo plants were obtained on transferring the cultures in basal B5 medium. Sixty percent plants survived in the field condition. The complete procedure required 20-22 weeks. Chromosomal stability was noted in somatic embryo plants.
Timir Baran Jha, Arpita Dafadar and Rituparna Kundu Chaudhuri, 2011. Somatic Embryogenesis in Swertia chirata Buch. Ham. ex Wall. - A Multipotent Medicinal Herb. Asian Journal of Biotechnology, 3: 186-193.